North Somerset MP Liam Fox has been accused of sending out a ‘stunning work of fiction’ in a leaflet delivered to local residents.

The double-sided document, entitled “Together we’re making progress”, made a series of claims about issues such as the NHS, policing, education and housing in the area.

But North Somerset Labour Party has analysed the document and says many of the assertions it contains are misleading or simply wrong. Policy Officer Dr David Punter commented: “Liam Fox must be so badly rattled by the series of recent polls showing that Labour is now well-placed to win this seat from him that he has to resort to some very dubious arguments.”

Dr Punter added: “the leaflet dropping through local letterboxes over the past week is little more than a stunning work of fiction that bears little resemblance to the reality of life in North Somerset at present.”

Here are some of the claims made by Liam Fox that North Somerset Labour Party disputes:

  • Claim: “558 extra police”. Reality: Avon & Somerset police officer numbers were cut by 587 under the Tories between 2011 and 2018. The 558 officers Fox claims were recruited since 2019 therefore only bring numbers back to 2010 levels and do nothing to change the damage done by understaffing between 2010 and 2019.
  • Claim: “We’re making progress for an even better North Somerset”. Reality: Real-terms funding for North Somerset Council has been cut by 63% since the Tories came into power in 2010.
  • Claim: “Backing our NHS”. Reality: Waiting lists at North Somerset’s NHS trust – North Bristol NHS trust ­– now total around 50,000, with an 18-week wait for mental healthcare. 18,000 fewer people are now able to see an NHS dentist in North Somerset, and South West Ambulance Service response times are three times slower than targets.
  • Claim: “Getting a new school in Clevedon is a priority for me”. Reality: Clevedon School’s students have been learning in tents due to the presence of unsafe concrete in its buildings. Liam Fox voted against telling the truth about unsafe concrete in schools and funding for Clevedon School was cut by £240,000 this year alone.
  • Claim: “I’m working to save high street banks”. Reality: 975 bank branches have been shut since the Tories came to power – and there are now only three left in the whole of the North Somerset constituency.
  • Claim: “I will continue working for the people of North Somerset”. Reality: Liam Fox earns £87,000 from 15 second jobs on top of his MP’s salary and has been supported with £230,000 donations from outside of North Somerset.
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